It was a frosty night on the pitch as the #3 ranked VCU Rams kicked off against #6 Fordham Rams in the final game of the A-10 quarterfinal. The cold, rain, sleet, and occasional snow shower did not deter either team as they battled for the chance to survive and advance in tournament play.
VCU went on the offensive attack early and would control possession most of the game. They created a lot of chances to score, but despite great effort the ball just wouldn’t find the back of the net. They did however keep goalkeeper Sean Brailey quite busy and he had to produce 9 saves on the night to keep VCU from scoring in regulation. Overall VCU would take 25 shots in the double OT match.
At the other end of the field Fordham would have far fewer opportunities than VCU. In addition to controlling the ball less they had to maneuver through a very effective defensive unit in order to make it to goalkeeper Garrett Cyprus. Overall they would take 10 shots in the match and Cyprus produced 3 saves and his 9th shutout of the season.
Once again the Rams v Rams locked horns in a dual shutout and tied match. In tournament play someone has to advance so after 110 minutes of tremendous effort without a goal it was time for a penalty kick shootout. Both Rams teams were successful in finding the back of the net on their first 2 attempts. Brailey made a save on the third shot and in the end Fordham would survive and advance to the semifinals on their 5-3 PK advantage.
Of course you always want your team to come away with the win, but when it comes down to it VCU accomplished a few pretty incredible things this year in addition to the #3 seed in the tournament. Garrett Cyprus posted a total of 9 shutouts on the season. He had some incredible saves and a defensive line that really created some frustration for the opposition. The Rams held off Notre Dame, the #1 ranked team in the nation, on the Irish’s home pitch until the second overtime. The Irish finally got their golden goal, but it was an intense pre-conference game. Mostly though this team played with heart every time they hit the field and win or lose you should always be proud of giving it your all. We look forward to seeing what they do next season.
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